Bulgarian Miners Are Better Paid than Finance Minister - PM

Energy | January 5, 2012, Thursday // 19:08|  views

Prime Minister Boyko Borisov has said that the workers at Maritsa Iztok Mines AD have no reason to go on strike. Photo by BGNES

Asked to comment on the looming strike at Maritsa Iztok Mines AD, Prime Minister Boyko Borisov has said that miners should actually be grateful.

"Miners are paid better than Deputy Prime Minister Simeon Djankov. They get something like BGN 2300, which is among the biggest salaries. Before New Year they got bonuses of BGN 1300 plus meal vouchers and what not," Borisov stated.

"I do not even know what this is about," the Prime Minister told journalists, commenting on the demands of the syndicates at the state-owned coal mining company that he act as a guarantor of the agreement with the management.

On Wednesday, the syndicates at Maritsa Iztok Mines AD stated their preparedness to go on strike on January 07 after talks with the management of Maritsa Iztok Mines AD proved unsuccessful.

The syndicates insist that the employer comply with the agreement signed on July 12, 2011 regulating the relative share of the wage costs against the company's revenues.

Evgeni Stoykov, CEO of Maritsa Iztok Mines AD allegedly withdrew his signature from the paper despite the expected BGN 500 M revenues of the company, thereby leaving the miners without the year-end bonuses.

Boyko Borisov, who checked the progress of the construction works for the Trakia highway at the Nova Zagora junction, scolded journalists for asking him about the miners despite the fact they were not in Stara Zagora.

The Prime Minister chose to dwell on the situation at the Brikel Thermal Power Plant first, saying that it was operating in the same sphere.

He said that the miners should be feeling rather grateful.

"It was only due to me, to my will and my willingness, and largely due to Environment Minister Nona Karadzhova that Brikel stayed in operation," Borisov explained.

The Prime Minister stressed that several thousand workers at the Brikel TPP ought to thank the government every day that they had kept their jobs.

The Prime Minister commented that the coal belonged to the state and to all Bulgarians.

Borisov stated that if all companies who had made some profits in the past year demanded them back, then tere would be no way of increasing pensions, maternity allowances, widow allowances, minimal wages, etc., and at the same time allocating money for infrastructure development.

.He nevertheless said that Bulgaria was a democratic country and the miners were free to go on strike if they felt dissatisfied with their wages.

The Prime Minister emphasized that he had not promised anything to Maritsa Iztok Mines AD and if the company's managing body had done so without honoring its commitment, it would be ousted.

Earlier on Thursday, Energy Minister Traicho Traikov made it clear that he appreciated the work of the miners at Maritza Iztok, who had doubled the output of the company, adding that the 15% pay rise they had been given had been an adequate reward.

Traikov specified that the average wage at the state-owned form was BGN 1520 and said that there was no reason for the miners to go on strike.

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Tags: Maritsa Iztok mines, Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, Brikel, thermal power plant, Environment Minister, Nona Karadzhova, Trakia highway, Stara Zagora, Energy minister, Traicho Traikov


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